DBA includes rules for conducting a "simple mini-campaign for 3 to 6 players, capable of being played to a conclusion in one day..." In order to squeeze a campaign involving several DBA battles into a single day, however, many gamers find it necessary to expedite the battles by some means. This is especially true if one or more of your participants plays deliberately or is perhaps reluctant to risk battle without some clear advantage obtained through extensive maneuver. The following are a series of methods collected from the DBA Mail List and elsewhere for forcing the issue in battles with the goal of expediting campaign games:
My experience of previous campaigns is that things run really smoothly until a battle arises between 2 "thinking" players - you know the sort who can make a game last 2 hours as they carefully march and countermarch their troops looking for that vital openning, while those of the "slam it in and roll the dice" type get it over before the others have got themselves a fresh beer!
What I have in mind is this. Once the session is underway a strategic move is carried out every 30 minutes, regardless of battles in progress. This would allow an army to march to the aid of an ally and put those playing battle under pressure to get a result before others have a chance of arriving.
Now I know that this is not strictly realistic, but from a game/fun point of view I think it would be very good.
One idea we use in our gaming group is the following: In any DBA game, there's always an attacker and a defender right? Our rule is that the attacker must attack the enemy within 12 bounds or he loses the battle. This forces the attacker to attack instead of plopping his army on a hill or between some bad going and waiting. In the case of two guys stalking each other, this gives the attacker some time to maneuver, but not too much time.
I say the game is OVER in 18 turns. If the defender is not defeated by then, he wins. If you think 18 turns is too short, try 24 turns or 36 turns. The point is that a limited number of turns forces the attacker to move, the longer he sits, the more he is restricting himself. Even if the turn limit is 100, eventually the attacker has to commit to an attack.
Use simultaneous movement for the campaign like diplomacy or other games. This only takes a second to write down and allows all battles to be resolved simultaneously after movement (it also makes sending an allied contingent hurt).
This will allow the campaign to flow a lot quicker during the day as most players aren't sitting around waiting for 2 (or 3) players to resolve a battle.
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Last Updated: July 24, 2000
Comments and suggestions welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley, IamFanaticus@gmail.com.